Tony Shi

As Interviewed by Madelene Shi, March 23, 2015

Tony Shi: In His Own Words

Tony Shi: In His Own Words
As interviewed by Madelene Shi

Could You give me some background information about yourself?

My name is Tony Shi, I was born in 1962 in Shanghai China. I came to the United States in 1986 as a student.

Did you immediately notice any discrimination between races when you first arrived?

There was some, but not very strong.

What was immigrating to America like?

Very challenging, I had to finish school and get a degree, get a job and go through the normal immigration process.

Were people treated differently based on their race in college?

Thats a very hard question for me to say because I noticed I was being treated very differently but I can not subscribe it to puritol races and because at the same time I was poor and culturally not fit.
When I was talking to people about China, they said, “where in China are you from?” I said, “I’m from Shanghai” and they said, “What is the difference between Shanghai and other places in China?” I said Shanghai is more westernized. People were laughing, “Are you westernized, do you really think you are westernized?” Things like that.

I think even when I became professionally working I still had a few encounters with discrimination. One time, I think it was the year 2000, I was already a regional manager for a big company. One time I was having lunch with a customer, there were a bunch of us. I think I came out of the restaurant first and the rest of the crowd was still inside, I was waiting outside and suddenly, a pickup truck pulled up and stopped right in front of me. And kids opened the window and yelled, ‘Why don't you go back to Asia!” Then they drove away. That thing was really shocking to me because it came from nowhere.

Why do you think people would do that?

“I think that they may have read something very prejudice towards Asia, they’re kids.”